I'm having fun with paradoxes, and I'm trying to come up with a catchy word for non-self-descriptive. Maybe "autosemantic" fits the bill for self-descriptive (definitely open to other suggestions!), but I'm having a hard time negating it in a natural way.

For an example of the sentence I'm trying to construct:

Is "inautosemantic" inautosemantic?

It just isn't flowing.


I believe you're looking for "autological"/"homological" and their antonym "heterological".

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    +1 Looks right to me. These aren't words to be used in every-day speech though. In formal writing however, they're great. :) – Noldorin Feb 5 '11 at 1:05
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    If I remember right, heterological was coined exactly for the sake of the paradox you describe :-) – PLL Feb 5 '11 at 1:05
  • @Noldorin: You clearly are not engaging in everyday speech with the right people. – chaos Feb 5 '11 at 2:31
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    @PLL It's called the Grelling-Nelson paradox, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grelling%E2%80%93Nelson_paradox – Mark McDonald Feb 5 '11 at 7:39
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    So "English" is "autological", but "french" isn't ("francais" would have been, but it's not an English word). – FumbleFingers Jun 27 '12 at 3:18

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